Media AS Revision 009 (Section B)Presentation Transcript
FilmFour Section B exam prep
In order to succeed
Develop a case study on a film studio which produces or distributed films to the UK
Your study will cover production, distribution and consumption
FilmFour is the chosen company and you MUST focus on this in the exam with specific films used
the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences
What is a British film?
A setting in the UK? or
A focus on British people abroad?
A predominantly British cast?
A storyline about some aspect of British life?
Based on the work of a British author?
The importance of a national film industry
Significant returns for the UK economy through film making, inward investment, film exhibition, DVD rentals and sales, film exports
The UK Film Council estimates that a successful Brit film will make up to 70% of its revenue outside the UK
If a film addresses a domestic audience about culturally specific themes, is it likely to find wider distribution difficult?
Will non British people want to see the film?
What significant advantage do British filmmakers have over European filmmakers?
British Cinema and Hollywood
British film production companies have co-production and distribution with Hollywood studios
‘ British’ films can be funded and distributed by US companies
Decisions on which British films to produce and how to market them are often based on the tastes of both domestic and American audiences
Hollywood – a brief overview
Hollywood is built around studios
Companies who aim to make money from films
Why are Hollywood blockbuster movies so successful?
The Challenge of Hollywood
In general Hollywood has been able to continually re-invent itself by responding to a changing marketplace and taking advantage of new opportunities offered by new technologies
Recent British Cinema
British film has become more confident in expanding its range to include a wider cross-section of ethnic groupings, gender groupings and cultural groupings
Promoting diversity and offering a more representative and inclusive national identity
Slumdog is a recent example!
A distinctive cinema?
180 million tickets sold yearly
Inward investment to improve the cinemagoing experience
80% of admissions come out of mainstream American distributors
British ‘themes’ and values
Hollywood realised that there is serious money to be made in international distribution so they invest heavily
They retain the rights to their films so secure profits for many years
British film industry is production led whereby distribution is usually through an American company
Any money made is not going back into the British film industry
‘ Cottage’ industry
2004 – UK output 27
British film industry unable to respond to increasing audience demand
Hollywood has diversified and strengthened to develop links with other media and delivery platforms creating vast media empires
Global market at $63 billion in 2003
US takes 80% of this global market
A British production company – finances British films
1982 – 1998 known as Channel 4 film
Part of channel 4s remit was to experiment and innovate and cater for audiences not addressed by other channels
Nowadays they fund around 20 films per year
A number of films are by first time feature screenwriters or directors
They look for distinctive films which will make their mark in a competitive cinema market
Television premieres on FilmFour Channel and Channel 4 2 years after theatrical release
David Rose, commissioning editor, “a preference for contemporary and social political topics”
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) portrayed the homosexual relationship between a white fascist and a Omar, born in Britain to Pakistani parents.
Main audiences were contemporary critical audiences in the 20 – 30 age ranges
Before Laundrette, a large percentage of the British population went largely unrepresented
Starring Ewan McGregor in his 2 nd film
Directed by Danny Boyle a British director
A co-production with Figment Films, Polygram and The Noel Gay Motion Picture co.
David Aukin, Head of Drama at Four Films “it isn’t really about drugs…it’s a buddy movie”
US critics compared the movie to Kubricks ‘A Clockwork Orange’
Both are anti-social-realist films dealing with subjects – gangs, violence, drugs – which are stylised and fast-paced.
Both are independent films which shocked the critics and audiences
However Trainspotting was more an object of youth culture or popular culture than it was cinematic
Britpop was Trainspotting's main vehicle to integrate youth subculture into popular culture.
Polygram put large sums of money into a sophisticated marketing and branding strategy including posters and a soundtrack
Knew film would appeal to clubbers and ravers so targeted these – Underworld’s Born Slippy became a massive hit from the soundtrack
Film gained distribution in the US although it did need subtitles!
The ‘brand’ Trainspotting
Copied of the screenplay
Reprinting of Welsh’s novel featuring the poster on the cover
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell
Co-production with Polygram and Working Title
Played upon aspects of national identity
Played upon the more ‘naïve’ elements of Britishness
Hugh Grants quintessential fumbling middle class gentleman
Appealing to an American audience
A universal storyline of romance and a feel good happy ending
Funded by Film4
Co-production with Celador and Pathe
Directed by Danny Boyle
1990s under David Aukin
Typical cost rose from £400k to £1.8million
Trainspotting and Four Weddings were hugely successful although appealed to very different audiences
Trainspotting was a low budget film which had carved itself a niche audience
Representation and Cultural Identity
FilmFour films explored and developed ideas of cultural hybridity
East is East
The first British film representing hybrid and ever changing cultural and social mix in Britain making it into mainstream multiplex cinemas.
Brick Lane (2007) won a BAFTA
One of FilmFour's biggest problems has been competing for cinema space with multinational film companies, whose films account for more than two thirds of UK box office takings. FilmFour blames the poor box office results on its lack of clout in the distribution market rather than the quality of its films. (BBC on Film Four Partner Search)
Film Four channel
Originally only subscribers could access the channel
The company wasn’t making enough money through subscriptions alone
Relaunched the channel in July 2006 as a freeview channel
Believed they could make more money through advertising
Has become the Uks largest free film channel available to 18 million homes
Supply and Demand
Why do you go to the cinema?
What other options are available to you if you want to see a film?
What are the pros and cons of these options?
So why do you still go to the cinema?!
Changing patterns of consumption
Young people are increasingly watch films on small screens using various models of DVD players
Cinema admissions in Britain fell by 4% in 2005 and US box-office by 9%
Trend towards home consumption began in the 1960s when studios realised they could use television to show films long after they had passed their sell-by date in the cinema
VHS to DVD
1970s VHS was introduced
1980s satellite was introduced
DVDs have pushed VHS out of the home
What are the advantages of DVD over VHS?
What are some drawbacks for the studios?
Massive corporations may be able to
Publicise and advertise their films via their own print, sound and visual media arms
Put out associated books and music, again from within their own organisation
Show their films via their own various TV and cinema outlets
Film Four and synergy
A major issue for FilmFour is that it does NOT own its own exhibition theatrical chain
What issues might this raise for FilmFour?
Synergy was not always apparent at the company as in 2003 Ali G went to Working Title!
New technologies and the consumer
An improved overall experience as a result of better sound and images reproduction
A heightened emotional experience as a result of a stronger sense of empathy with characters who in some way seem more real
Improved ease of access
New, easier and intensified ways of using film to pleasure themselves e.g. IMAX
Enhanced intellectual experience
The chance for new, ever cheaper and more compact devices to make films for themselves
New technologies and the film industry
The chance to repackage and resell old products, esp cult films, thereby establishing a new audience base for an old product
An opportunity to place products for sale in a new ‘window’ thereby lengthening the commercial life of each film
The chance to encourage multiple purchases of essentially the same product
A means of still managing to make profit on films that initially perform poorly at the box office
New technologies and the cinema experience
New technologies have always added to the cinema experience
The size/quality of the spectacle have been enhanced
Also available in a standard DVD edition, the Blu-ray version of Slumdog Millionaire argues effectively for a conversion over onto the new format. The film looks sensation here, and this is coming from someone who saw the movie twice in theaters. The use of color that Boyle excels at is heightened here, the attention to detail and panoramic vistas recreated superbly within the 2.35:1, AVCX 1080p encode. Remember—Boyle utilized both 35mm stock and digital cameras to capture the action, so there will be a definite distinction between the two. The use of grain, the occasional muddiness and lack of clarity are artistic choices on the director's part (his accompanying commentary track assures us of same). Sonically, the Blu-ray comes with only one audio mix—an English-Hindi 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that engages all the channels without subjecting us to aural chaos. Indeed, the balance between dialogue and ambient elements is excellent, and the use of music and effects really elevate the overall immersive effect. While the film itself is subtitled out of necessity, there are optional SDH, French, and Spanish translations offered.
Slumdog – Blu ray
Boyle and Patel take the audience through the backstreets and countryside of India